Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 20th 2018

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Light Up The Stage

Karaoke Brings Different Element To Bar

Music is to bars as Batman is to Robin.

It’s a complement that transforms an aura of social chatter into a room full of movement and fun.

But when a DJ rolls out a video screen and a 40-year-old drunk woman begins belting “Don’t Stop Believing,” that aura is elevated to a whole new level–one that may make some even feel like a superhero (at least for four minutes or so).

Once thought of as a Japanese or Filipino novelty, today’s karaoke is popular all over the world.

Here in town there are numerous drinking holes that boast nightly sing-alongs, luring out the spectrum of one-time wonders to the rockstar wannabes.

“I think people love the chance to be able to get up and be the center of attention for three minutes at a time and not have to really worry about if they’re gonna sound great or if they’ll suck–they just have to go up and have a good time,” says Jeremy Ward, a karaoke host for The Cabaret. “It’s great to have someone come up who’s never done karaoke before and be so nervous and after the first time singing, can’t seem to get enough of it.”

Ward is a victim of a karaoke addiction, grabbing the gig at Cabaret after being labeled as a weekly singer at the bar. Today he hosts both the Monday and Thursday night sessions in addition to his day job.

“I love to sing, and to be able to do that and get paid for it is even better–not to mention that it’s great to say that you get to drink while you’re at work,” he says.

While there are some who are decent enough karaoke-ers to captivate the audience with any tune, those who know how to work the crowd are generally the best received.

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